Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has written to all West Midlands MPs to highlight the importance of fairer funding for the police ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review.
A copy of the letter is here:
I am writing to you ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review to urge you to make the case for the fair funding of West Midlands Police in parliament.
Over the past few months members have been extremely helpful in pointing out to government the work that West Midlands Police does on a daily basis and the increased threats that an urban force like ours faces. I am very grateful to the members who took part in the Westminster Hall debate on the funding of West Midlands Police on 9th September.
Recent events have further highlighted the importance of community policing and the excellent work that is done countering terrorism in the West Midlands.
In tough circumstances I am doing all that I can to drive efficiencies and do more with less. For example we have just led one of the country’s largest joint procurements of vehicles, with thirty one police forces and five fire authorities working together to achieve value for money.
I was also proud that HMIC recently recognised West Midlands Police as one of only five outstandingly efficient police forces. We will continue to do more and take tough decisions, like reducing our estate and getting rid of expensive city centre lets, but there is only so much we can do without making extremely difficult decisions about frontline policing.
Much is said about reserves, in the West Midlands all available non-earmarked reserves will be used to balance the revenue budget over the period to 2018/19. The earmarked reserves are for things like major incidents and insurance.
West Midlands Police has responded to a large number of major events and crime trends recently, from Child Sexual Exploitation, to FGM – of which the West Midlands has the second largest number of cases, radicalisation and providing large strategic assistance to national events.
West Midlands Police has always risen to challenges placed in front of it, but what is clear is that those challenges are not going away and crime is changing not falling. Indeed in the year to date recorded crime is up. The funding that West Midlands Police receives is therefore crucial in ensuring that the force has the resources to meet those challenges.
I have had to make difficult decisions already on estates and support the Chief Constable’s approach on PCSOs, but there are only so many cuts we can take without this having an operational impact in your constituency.
As the fair funding of the police is of such high importance I will be sharing this letter with the public.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner